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Kerala runner battles for life in a race against time

Kerala runner battles for life in a race against time

Sohinee Basu

Published: 11 July 2019 10:45 AM GMT
The 17-year-old silver medallist from the National School Games Athletics Meet 2018, Athulya P Saji, has fallen victim to a life-threatening disease on the brink of reaching adulthood. The young girl hailing from Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala is a student of GV Raja School studying in the 12th standard. All throughout Athulya had shown a serious talent for athletics and often won gold medals at the school and state level championships. Athulya was rushed to the Kottayam Medical College while she was suffering from a stubborn fever. Things got out of hand rapidly ever since she was taken there and she had to be shifted to a ventilator soon after. However, Athulya was taken to KIMS College for better treatment and diagnosis. With the complications steeping up for the 17-year-old, the doctors diagnosed that Athulya's lungs have been damaged which is why she cannot breathe on her own at this point. They further informed that she has been infected by the brain bacteria which is leading to all these escalating problems. Her only way to survive right now is through the ventilator. Born in an economically crippled family, Athulya's father, P.V Saji runs a bakery shop. Ever since the news of his daughter's illness has been broken to him, he cannot comprehend how he will make ends meet.

The complete treatment for this disease demands at least 25 lakhs, which is a lumpsum amount of money for the bakery shop owner.

The Kerala Goverment has stepped into the aid of the despair-stricken family and provided them with 3 lakhs from the Sports Fund. However, with time fast-fading for the gold medallist from the 2018 Kerala School State Athletics Meet (U17), things look dire. The villagers back home are expecting positive news whilst the odds of that happening is nothing short of a miracle.
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